Favorite films

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  • The Card Counter

    ★★★★

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

  • Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    ★★★

  • Nine Days

    ★★★½

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  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★★

    How far will you go to assuage your guilt?

    The story, characterizations, and Isaac were its strengths. My expectations for what was going to happen were at times happily subverted, and Schrader's non-main characters added some spirit and color. For instance, "Captain Tom" -- who is only briefly shown as one of Isaac's poker opponents -- fits exactly in the pocket of both what you would expect to see in the World Series of Poker and half-funny extra in a…

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

    Same Marvel formula in different clothes. The action sequences, however, were some of my favorite in the whole MCU and in recent memory.

    The move of taking an indie filmmaker and giving them a big-budget superhero flick has never worked as well as with Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy. Here's hoping Chloe Zhao's Eternals breaks the mold.

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  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★

    Nolan’s new hall of mirrors is built with a plot so prominent, so dense, and so demanding that there is little room for human beings.

    It’s maybe the most intricately plotted (while not being abstract) film I’ve ever seen. My friends and I talked about it for 2-3 hours after watching it, just trying to understand what all happened and how it worked. (The internet, we remembered the next day, can help you out with all that, but discussion is…

  • The Dig

    The Dig

    ★★★

    Doesn't necessarily pack a wallop for me but has some surprising strengths. The acting is consistently solid. The music is lovely.* The visuals, with all that period WWII atmosphere, draw you in even if they don't always make sense.

    But do we find excesses in the story? Maybe some of these plot lines are the support needed to make the story robust, expanding on the themes. Maybe they're a distraction from the main characters and original thrust of the narrative.…